What if the new name for Microsoft Live Search is ... Yahoo?

What if the new name for Microsoft Live Search is ... Yahoo?

Summary: Microsoft quietly registered a limited liability company (LLC) last week, which points to the company being poised to make an acquisition or joint venture. While some are speculating the new company could have something to do with Microsoft buying Citrix, I think all the signs, not to mention the timing, are pointing to a Microsoft-Yahoo hook-up.

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Microsoft quietly registered a limited liability company (LLC) last week, which points to the company being poised to make an acquisition or joint venture.

While some are speculating the new company could have something to do with Microsoft buying Citrix, I think all the signs, not to mention the timing, are pointing to a Microsoft-Yahoo hook-up. After all, this week is the "All Things D" D7 confab, where Microsoft is slated to show off to attendees its newest search release. And both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz are on the guest list....

If I were going to bet what happens next, here's what I'd wager:

Microsoft's newest iteration of its search engine is expected to go live on or around June 2. At the same time, the approximately $100 million ad campaign designed to get people to forget (if they ever knew in the first place) that Live Search existed is expected to kick off.

Do you think the new Microsoft search, whatever it ultimately is called, has a chance to gain ground against Google? Is the search game simply a brand war, and not a features one (as Microsoft continues to claim it is)? And if so, does Yahoo/Bing have a chance against Google?

Update: If Bing does, in the end, become the new Live Search brand name, Microsoft might want to doctor the search results for "bing"... given the first definition that shows up when you search it using Microsoft's engine now:

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Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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73 comments
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  • Google Search is just simply better, PERIOD.

    nt
    Dealing
    • They need Yahoo to prevent an investor run

      ahead of the Windows 7 release, which they then hope they can get anti-competitively pre-installed at every POS so they can then claim what a huge success they have had with their "latest and greatest".

      Gotta love Google kickin' their a**.
      fr0thy2
      • Microsoft bought Walfromalpha in secret.

        Many of you may be wondering what is walfromalpha. well here it is
        http://www.walfromalpha.com. That combine with live will be the search engine of the future. I realised that google is using a alot of F# programming to hunt and help gather more accurate data. Guess who built F# and who intorduce it to them. You will find the answers soon, dont worry. Just a glimps of what is F# and you will have an idea what it can do. This thing is a big puzzle, the more a know the more I see what I dont know. Anyway have a look at the new live

        http://www.walfromalpha.com
        romeoiv
        • Well done!

          Did you buy that domain and set it up all on your own?

          Is Canada THAT boring?
          fr0thy2
        • Simple test

          I have a very Simple test for all search engines: I enter the Welsh village
          four miles from the farm where I was born. If it comes up with the right
          one and some decent pages, I'll give it some attention. If it doesn't, I
          ignore it.

          http://www.walfromalpha.com didn't.

          What it did was substitute another village with a superficially similar
          name 181 miles and over four hours away - right at the opposite end of
          Wales!

          So, what's my point? This 'remarkable' Alpha thing didn't know to ask if I
          meant my village, despite the fact it's been there a lot longer than all of
          us.

          If MS has bought walfromalpha, the reason is probably because it
          appeals to Bill's rather narrow geek mind. Personally, I hate anything with
          the living founder's name included in it. Why? Because it demonstrates a
          colossal ego and a total lack of imagination and empathy with the user.

          Having said that, I drive a Ford. But if you Google Henry Ford, you
          discover that even though he had a number of unedifying personality
          traits, he can be excused since it was the trend of the day to self name
          companies.

          Finally, walfromalpha hasn't a hope in hell of ever becoming a generic
          term for search - or anything other than a lead balloon - no matter how
          good it is.
          Graham Ellison
        • you mean?

          http://www.wolframalpha.com/

          This is hardly a "search engine" more of a small
          fact retriever. But it is pretty cool for it niche
          of usability.
          shadfurman
    • You're joking, right?

      I find Google search to be almost useless for tech subjects, while Yahoo consistently gives me better results. I suppose that Google is OK for he masses, who don't mind being spied on, but I can't imagine why any techie would consider using it.
      itpro_z
      • huh?

        im a programmer and ive used google to find MANY answers to questions......question you say youre a techie. There are two kinds of techies 1) Microsoft certified button clicking really know nothing techies 2) programmers.

        I think you are 1.
        onepersonsopinion@...
        • And who cares What...

          you think. Not speaking for the poster. But aside for your opinion, which is like a certain body part, the only thing missing is your thoughts on privacy. What are they? Have any?
          eargasm
        • Google is the most gamed Search Engine in the World.

          Google is the most gamed search engine in the world. Things are not at the top of google because they are the most revelant, but because they have been gamed to get there.

          It's rather like Windows having the most viruses. It's not like other OS's cannot get them, it's just where the money is. And so too other Search Engines can be gamed. However the money is on Google.
          Bozzer
        • You forgot

          You forgot the hardware guys that design and build your systems, and keep them running.
          Dr. John
      • there was a time when yahoo was the best available...

        that time has passed. while google does tend to wander away from the subject, it just simply yields better results, at the moment. yahoo has become too commercial, only returning paid results. today i had to search for the location of the closest social security office. yahoo returned over 150 social security lawyers. google returned the closest ss office complete with an address, phone number and map. google has become my default search engine.
        brokndodge@...
      • YOU'RE joking right?

        Google is the only one that takes you to the correct results, and yes, I do use other searches from time to time to see how they're doing.

        For tech stuff it's just a question of being intelligent and specific about what YOU want and hey presto!

        If you enter "blue cheese", you probably won't get results you want.
        fr0thy2
  • Microsoft loses at auto-correction

    Enter "rumplestilskdnin" at Live Search. It finds nothing and more importantly, doesn't say "Did you mean...".

    Enter the same term at Google and while it finds nothing, it makes a suggestion which, by itself, is not the correct answer, but then it makes a second suggestion after you click on the first one and it does get there correctly.

    Microsoft doesn't do AutoCorrect as well as Google and while we are on this topic of things that Microsoft doesn't get, let us not forget that Ad Block Plus is hands down the best ad blocker out there and it's available for Firefox. Even if IE8 matches Firefox feature for feature, I will usually use Firefox simply because Ad Block Plus blows away IE7Pro for ad blocking.

    Remember the fake April 1 rumor that IE8 would soon be able to accept Firefox add-ons? If you think about it, that was actually a cool rumor.
    techvet
    • The other side of Google's autocorrection

      I've had Google offer up alternative spellings of names, etc, that I'm searching on, and when you click on the suggested alt spelling, it finds... nothing. Why even suggest it, then?

      It's good, but it can be better.
      ejhonda
    • The other side of AdBlock

      While I'm a big fan and user of FF and AdBlock, why would you expect MS to offer up a browser add-on that effectively neuters a revenue stream it is desperately trying to mine? Makes no sense. Mozilla isn't hurting other portions of its business by allowing ad blocking, so of course they'll allow it on their browser. MS simply can't.
      ejhonda
      • FF Google search

        While adblock is active, FF still has a referral stream through its inherent google search.
        adelacuesta
  • Bing will become blinko soon!

    That is what the orange balloon says at the bing.im website.

    Maybe Microsoft indeed paid/persuaded Bing Mobile to rebrand their Messenger from Bing to Blinko, so Bing mark will be eventually free for Microsoft?s new search engine. It?s indeed all in the sphere of rebranding.

    One more speculation; if Microsoft really is going to pay $100 million for an ad campaign for the new search engine, it must have been planned and designed already and very soon is expected to hit the media, so the rejected application will as well mean nothing as the aforementioned fact with Bing Mobile or ....oh well Blinko to-be-soon leaves nobody else claiming on Bing trademark.
    venenocy
  • Everyone better hope MS goes after google

    I see no one else able to keep a monopoly from happening.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • They are it's not working

      Microsoft is going hard after Google but, when you know nothing about search it is hard.

      The only thing Microsoft knows is re branding. Hey how's that working for them?
      Randalllind